In recent days, it became apparent Khalil Mack and the Raiders were not going to be reaching a deal on a contract extension before training camp began. At the moment it was reported he would officially be missing camp days, I noted he had yet to meet his coaches and there was no timetable for that happening.
Mack still hasn’t met his new coaches and teammates. And no timetable for when he will. https://t.co/1B0MtszDY1— Levi Damien (@LeviDamien) July 25, 2018
Well, it’s worse than that. He hasn’t even spoken to Jon Gruden since Gruden took over as head coach, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Interesting fact of day: Jon Gruden and Oakland DE Khalil Mack have not spoken once since the Raiders hired their new head coach in January. No contact between two men who should be vital this season for the Raiders.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 26, 2018
That’s rather unusual, even for a player who is holding out for a new contract.
There has been some contact. Vic Tafur, who recently interviewed Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther, said at least the defensive coach has spoken with Mack.
Mack has talked with Guenther, if that makes everyone feel better https://t.co/C6x17yN0yz— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) July 26, 2018
How big of a deal is it that Mack hasn’t spoken with Gruden? It may not mean anything in the long run. Though, if I were Gruden I would make a point to connect with the best player on my team at least once if only to say a few words.
It’s best to make him feel like he is a priority for the team, especially for Gruden who is so focused on the offense. A few words can go a long way and thus far they have had no words at all. That doesn’t seem like the best approach. If Mack doesn’t get signed and ends up feeling slighted by the Raiders and leaving, we will look back at this and wonder if it played a part in that. No one wants to cross that bridge.